We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Bearded Dragon's Life Cycle?

By A.M. Boyle
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are generally six stages in a bearded dragon’s life cycle. The first stage is the prehatchling, or egg, stage, which is then followed by the hatchling stage. Next, the bearded dragon enters the subadult stage, which is followed by the sexual maturity stage. The fifth stage of a bearded dragon's life cycle is adulthood, where it reaches full maturity. It then proceeds to the sixth and final stage, sometimes known as end stage.

Female bearded dragons generally lay eggs in batches of about 20 at a time. The egg, or prehatchling stage, is the first stage in a bearded dragon’s life cycle. Bearded dragon eggs will usually hatch after about 55 to 75 days, thus ending the first stage.

Once the egg is hatched, the bearded dragon enters the second stage of the life cycle, known as the hatchling stage. When they are first born, hatchings range in size from about 2 to 4 inches (about 5 to 10 cm). Hatchlings grow rapidly and generally have ravenous appetites, consuming anywhere from 20 to 60 crickets a day, along with fresh greens and vegetables. This stage typically lasts about three to four months, and when the dragon grows to about 8 inches (approximately 20 cm) in length, it advances to the next stage of its life cycle.

The third stage of bearded dragon’s life cycle is known as the subadult stage. During this stage, the bearded dragon normally still has a hearty appetite and continues to grow at a quick rate. Adult behaviors start to become more prominent. For instance, males will start to demonstrate either dominant traits, such as head bobbing or beard puffing, or more subservient traits, such as “waving,” where the dragon will lift a front foot and wave it in circles at a challenging male.

When the bearded dragon reaches about 12 inches (about 30 cm) in length, it is considered to have entered the fourth stage of sexual maturity. During this stage, which normally occurs at about three years old, the bearded dragon is a young adult capable of breeding. Many dragons at this stage begin to demonstrate mating behaviors. Also, a female dragon at this stage is considered mature enough to safely carry eggs, something that should not be attempted prior to this stage of the life cycle. The bearded dragon’s appetite will also level out, and it will probably not be so ravenous.

Following the young adult stage, the bearded dragon enters the fifth stage of adulthood. Typically, during this stage of the bearded dragon’s life cycle, it has reached its full size. A bearded dragon normally grows to between 18 and 20 inches (about 45 to 51 cm) in length. At this stage, breeding slows, and appetite diminishes. Shedding, which typically occurs during growth spurts, also becomes much less frequent. This stage normally lasts about four to seven years.

The sixth and final stage of a bearded dragon’s life cycle is known as the end stage, or old age. There is no growth during this stage and little, if any, breeding. The bearded dragon’s appetite decreases dramatically. Some people notice that their dragons also become lethargic and disinterested in the environment. This is a normal, natural stage of the dragon’s life as the dragon’s body is in the process of shutting down. Most bearded dragons will live for about 10 to 12 years, although some may live for longer or shorter periods depending upon environment and constitution.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Markerrag — On Mar 11, 2014

10 to 12 years, huh? How many bearded dragons actually make it that long? More than a few people get one because they "look cool" and then neglect the heck out of them. That is a pity.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.